The new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism laws

Anti-money laundering has recently been in the spotlight in New Zealand with the Ministry of Justice estimating that almost NZ$ 1.35 billion from fraud and illegal drugs is laundered through ordinary New Zealand businesses each year. To combat this kind of criminal activity, New Zealand’s anti-money laundering laws have been amended through the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) Amendment Act 2017 (“Amendment Act”). It is intended that this Amendment Act will put practical measures in place that will protect businesses and make it harder for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activity. The amendments appear to
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An introduction to shareholders’ agreement – Why are they important?

A shareholders’ agreement (“Agreement”) records the arrangements between the shareholders and directors of a company regarding the ownership, government and management of the company. Companies are not required to implement an Agreement by law. However, implementing an Agreement is recommended as it is designed to address areas regarding governance and control of business activities, whether external or internal, which a company constitution or the Companies Act 1993 may not specifically address. For example, the Companies Act 1993 may not provide specific guidance regarding the process for shareholders exiting a company. This is where an Agreement can be used by shareholders
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Marriages and Name Changes

Individuals are able to assume a partner’s name immediately after getting married without any formal procedures. It is not necessary to register a name change. In such situations, both the maiden name and new name of a person will be recognised. When changing names on bank statements for example, a marriage certificate will be sufficient evidence to validate the change. Passports can remain unchanged and carry a maiden name. However for those wanting to record a name change officially, an application can be made to Births, Deaths and Marriages by making a statutory declaration and completing a name change form.
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Joint Tenants vs. Tenants in Common

In New Zealand, when purchasing a property personally with another party you can choose to own the property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. Deciding which form of ownership to use depends entirely on your personal circumstances. The differences between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common are explained briefly below. JOINT TENANCY Joint tenancies arise when two or more people (‘joint tenants’) buy a property together and their shares in the property are undivided and undefined. One important feature of a joint tenancy is the right of survivorship. This means that when one of the joint tenants dies, their
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